A season marked by injuries, disappointment and defeat will end today for the Harvard soccer squad when they journey to New Haven to meet vastly improved Yale in a 2 p.m. game.
The game will offer one last chance for the Harvard team to salvage a 3-6-2 season which is the worst showing since 1956 for the Crimson. Yale, however, rated no. 6 in New England and headed for an NCAA tournament game on Saturday, will present formidable opposition to Crimson hopes.
"We're due for a win," Crimson head coach Bruce Munro said yesterday and added despite Harvard's record, "I'm proud of this team." Harvard lost to Brown Saturday in what Munro said was the only" really bad beating" his team has suffered this fall.
Assistant Yale coach Will Verhoeff, referring to the team's 5-3-4 record, said yesterday, "We've been having a good year." He noted Harvard's problems, but he said that the emotional character of any Harvard-Yale game would make the contest an even one.
Yale and Princeton battled to a 1-1 tie last weekend. Verhoeff said the Bulldogs might have been looking ahead to their NCAA tournament game against Bridgeport this coming Saturday. He added that there would be no repeat and that Yale would not look past Harvard.
"It means something to the players," Verhoeff said. "It can make or break the season."
Harvard, presently 2-3-1 in the league, will be hampered in its quest for a .500 Ivy League record by injuries to the line. Munro listed Tony Van Neil, Rick LaCivita, Leroy Thompson and Bob Auritt as injured. "I'm hopeful we'll be able to use them some of the time," Munro said. "We have few linemen as it is."
The loss to Brown last Saturday was the sixth time the Crimson offense has been shut out this fall. "Yale will be tough to score on," Munro said. "They've been getting better and better. They beat Penn, which is quite an order."
Yale's defense is anchored by senior fullback Jon Bellis and goalie Bruce Maronpot. Maronpot boasts a 1.4 goals against average and the 6'3" Bellis is characterized by Verhoeff as having great range in the backfield as well as being very dependable.
Brian Fearnett, Lawson Wulsin and the Crimson fullbacks will have to defend against a Bulldog offense that has averaged only 1.9 goals per game. Four out of five Yale wins have been by one-goal margins, including an upset victory over highly favored Penn two weeks ago, 3-2.